The Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2015 will take place from 9th to 25th of January.

Tata Steel 2015 is boasting a superb field, a stronger average ELO than last year’s event. The participants of the 2015 edition of the competition are Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Teimour Radjabov, Baadur Jobava, Ding Liren, Vassily Ivanchuk, Ivan Saric, Hou Yifan, and Loek van Wely.

The playing venue is once more the traditional city of Wijk aan Zee. On 15 January the 5th round of the Tata Steel Masters will take place in De Rotterdam, the recently opened eye-catching building at the waterfront of the River Meuse in Rotterdam, designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. And on 21 January, the 10th round of the Tata Steel Masters will take place in the recently renovated press centre Nieuwspoort in The Hague.

Games will be daily live with triple by the top engines of the TCEC competition

What to look for at Tata Steel Chess 2015

* Number 1 and Number 2 in the FIDE ELO rating list – Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana – will meet on the board, in what many call a future World Championship preview.

Caruana – Carlsen 0:1 (Tromso) / Carlsen – Caruana 0:1 (Sinquefield) / Carlsen – Caruana 1/2:1/2 (Norway Chess)

* Yifan Hou has a chance to overtake Judith Polgar for the first time in the Women FIDE rating list (current difference is 2 points)

*The second of Anand, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, will have a direct game with Carlsen. They already played in Tromso this year (replay the game)

* Anish Giri has a chance to prove his high form shown during the start at Qatar Masters

* Wesley So will be the US chess federation player in the field

* Vassily Ivanchuk comes after an unsuccessful Ukrainian championship looking for a Mtel Masters start

* Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has been in and out of the world top 10, he will be looking to stabilize his position

* Loek Van Wely has his personal national race vs Anish Giri

* Tata Steel 2015 is the first in many years not to have a Russian player

Radoslaw Wojtaszek completes the field

Today Polish grandmaster Radoslaw Wojtaszek has accepted the invitation to be the 14th participant of the Tata Steel Masters the last player to complete the Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2015 field. With an average rating of 2747 in the Tata Steel Masters the 2015 edition of the tournament is slightly stronger than that of 2014 (12 participants with an average rating of 2743).

The tournament organisers had agreed with the ACP, the union for professional chess players, that the highest ranking player in the ACP-Tour with a rating under 2750 (as of 1 January 2014) would be invited for the final slot in the Tata Steel Masters. Competition for this invitation remained exciting until the very end. It had been decided that the strong tournaments in Qatar (won by Yu Yangyi from China) and the Russian championship (won by Igor Lysyj) would be the last opportunities to vie for the spot. Competing for the 14th position were Wojtaszek (who did not play himself), Eljanov from Ukraine (who played Qatar) and Russian Jakovenko (who participated in the Russian championship). Eljanov did not play a meaningful role in Qatar and thus dropped out of the race, but Jakovenko was still full in the race. Had he been able to catch up with eventual champion Lysyj on the final day, the invitation would have been his.

Radoslaw Wojtaszek is a familiar face in Wijk aan Zee. During this year’s edition and that of 2011 he participated in the Tata Steel Challengers. He is known for seconding former world champion Viswanathan Anad, with whom he has workded for a very long time. This year he has also been working on his own reputation: almost unnoticed, in line with his modest character, he has moved into the 15th position of the world ranking. His participation in the Tata Steel Masters is his debut on the highest level.

Tata Steel Chess and the long tradition

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament has a long tradition. Starting as an employee tournament, it has grown into an international tournament of world class renown, for which grandmasters and amateurs alike will clear their diaries. Tata Steel has chosen for chess, because chess entails strategic thinking and focuses on finding creative solutions for complex issues. The same goes for steelmaking, a high-tech process with a crucial role for innovation. Tata Steel employees are continuously working on improving processes and products in order to help customers be successful in their markets while contributing to creating a sustainable society. Next year will see the 77th edition of the tournament. Among chess aficionados the tournament in Wijk aan Zee is known as ‘The Wimbledon of Chess’.

Every year the best chess players in the World measure their strengths at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in January. They do so in the same room as hundreds of participants in the amateur tournaments, thus creating a unique atmosphere. All over the village of Wijk aan Zee chess competitions are organised. Wijk aan Zee is transformed into the Mecca of chess for two weeks each year. During the tournament more than 1 million people visit the tournament official website.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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